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Episodes

Among the many curiosities you'll find in the Episodes table below is this little tidbit: From Season Two through Season Six, the lowest-rated Final 3 episode (AI5's, at 54.7) outpolled the highest-rated Finale (AI2's, 54.0). But upon further review, we suppose that's not all that surprising. AI Finales tend to be ragged affairs comprising 83 separate commercial breaks, a few reprise performances, and those always-popular American Idol Original Winners' Songs™, which the staff at WNTS.com is convinced are secretly written by saboteurs hired by rival networks.

On the other hand, a Final 3 episode is truly Must-See TV: three contestants, three songs apiece, and two tickets to the Kodak Theater on the line. Each contestant is fresh off an emotional trip home, and each is forced, for the first time since the Hollywood Round, to perform at least one song not of his or her own choosing. The pressure has to be suffocating, but by and large the Idols have risen to the challenge: nine 5-star performances (including 90-plus ones from Bo Bice and Katharine McPhee), 13 at 4-stars, and just two clocking in at 1-star. The Final Three are usually in it to win it.

As for the rest of the episodes, about the only advice we can offer is this: never try to predict whether or not a show will be any good based on its theme. As evidence, take a look at some of the themes of the highest-rated episodes below.

[back to top] American Idol  Episodes

Click on a column header to sort by that column.
# Date Episode / Theme #Cn #Pf Average Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
101 40316 May 18, 2010
Judges' Choice / Idols' Choice
3 6
53.7
 
77 19 19.7 1 1 1 3 0
102 40603 Mar 1, 2011
Open
12 12
50.9
 
90 5 16.7 1 4 2 2 3
103 40618 Mar 16, 2011
Year You Were Born
12 12
45.9
 
78 14 19.7 1 5 2 4 0
104 40646 Apr 13, 2011
Songs From The Movies
8 8
47.8
 
71 15 22.3 1 1 4 2 0
105 40667 May 4, 2011
Now And Then
5 10
60.4
 
94 7 19.4 1 1 2 4 2
106 40967 Feb 28, 2012
Open
13 13
47.0
 
79 7 20.3 1 4 5 3 0
107 40982 Mar 14, 2012
Year You Were Born
11 11
57.0
 
91 17 16.4 1 2 2 4 2
108 41031 May 2, 2012
60's / British
5 12
53.4
 
82 16 19.8 1 3 3 4 1
109 41325 Feb 20, 2013
Open
10 10
46.5
 
78 8 14.9 1 4 2 3 0
110 41326 Feb 21, 2013
Open
10 10
39.8
 
68 12 18.4 1 4 3 2 0
111 41333 Feb 28, 2013
Open
10 10
44.3
 
78 16 20.7 1 3 5 1 0
112 41338 Mar 5, 2013
Open
10 10
54.0
 
86 5 15.3 1 2 3 2 2
113 41339 Mar 6, 2013
Open
10 10
47.2
 
76 8 19.4 1 2 5 2 0
114 41353 Mar 20, 2013
The Beatles
9 9
53.3
 
78 13 17.9 1 1 3 4 0
115 41360 Mar 27, 2013
Detroit
8 11
51.0
 
81 6 19.3 1 2 4 3 1
116 41367 Apr 3, 2013
Rock - No Ballads
7 10
48.0
 
71 13 18.5 1 3 2 4 0
117 41374 Apr 10, 2013
Burt Bacharach / Wish You Wrote
6 12
53.4
 
96 2 15.1 1 2 3 4 2
118 41689 Feb 19, 2014
Open
10 10
46.5
 
74 4 19.4 1 3 2 4 0
119 41697 Feb 27, 2014
This Is Me
13 13
52.2
 
84 14 16.6 1 3 3 4 2
120 41717 Mar 19, 2014
Billboard Top 10
10 10
47.7
 
80 18 18.2 1 2 5 1 1
121 41745 Apr 16, 2014
Competitors' Picks
7 10
58.0
 
90 15 19.3 1 1 2 5 1
122 41752 Apr 23, 2014
Country / Rock
6 12
52.4
 
82 10 17.7 1 3 3 4 1
123 41773 May 14, 2014
Randy's / Judges' / Hometown Choice
3 9
51.4
 
86 17 17.7 1 3 2 1 2
124 42060 Feb 25, 2015
Open
12 12
47.4
 
84 12 18.0 1 4 2 4 1
125 37439 Jul 2, 2002
Open
10 10
36.8
 
60 20 18.1 0 5 4 1 0
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